Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Robinson R22 Beta, N2336J, registered to Stella Air Inc and operated by Valley Aviation Inc: Accident occurred July 10, 2017 at Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport (KWBW), Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania

Registered Owner: Stella Air Inc

Operator: Valley Aviation Inc

Operator Does Business As: Valley Aviation

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


NTSB Identification: GAA17CA406
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 10, 2017 in WILKES-BARRE, PA
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22, registration: N2336J
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter flight instructor reported that he was teaching his student to hover.

The helicopter was at a 2-foot hover and began drifting to the left. The left rear skid contacted the ground and a left roll ensued. The student pilot pulled up on the collective, and the instructor attempted to push the collective down. A dynamic rollover occurred, and the helicopter rolled onto its left side.

The flight instructor reported that wind gusts may have been a factor in the accident.

According to the METAR that was being monitored by the flight instructor about the time of the accident, the wind was from 210° at 8 knots. No wind gusts and no convective activity was reported via METAR that day. 

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom and the main rotor system.

The pilots reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

FORTY FORT -- Two men were taken to the hospital after a helicopter crashed in Luzerne County.

Officials say both men were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries and released.

The helicopter was removed from the runway just a few hours after it crashed at the Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport in Forty Fort Monday afternoon.

Officials say a student pilot and his flight instructor were practicing touch and go takeoffs and landings on the runway just before 1 p.m. Monday when the helicopter flipped and crashed on its side.

"Very minor injuries of the occupants of the helicopter, very minimal amount of fluids down on the runway," said Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski.

Police and fire officials were on the scene of the crash down on the runway. Up above where there is a walking trail, many were shocked to see what was happening during their daily afternoon walk.

"It's surprising but it's part of life. Helicopters are very dangerous. I was told it was a lesson. Thank God they're OK," said Mike Maestri of Wyoming.

The runway was closed while officials waited for the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate. Later, a flatbed removed the helicopter from the runway.

"They put those vehicles out there as visual reminders in case someone doesn't get the word that the runway is shut down," explained Tuzinski.

The last time there was a major incident at this airport in Luzerne County was in 1989. Two people died in that crash.

"The operators of the airport are actually very responsible people. They cooperate with emergency services. We have a great relationship with them and they run a very good operation," Tuzinski added.

All of the vehicles have been removed from the runway now but it's still unclear if operations are running as normal here at the Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport.


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